Ashes & Shadows…Ilsa J. Bick Rocks This Post!

So, you may remember when I read Ilsa J. Bick‘s Ashes.

It freaked me out & kept me up at night.

I LOVED IT!
ASHES-5 Creepy Blings!
It also ended in a OMG! WHAT THE WHAT! cliffhanger! I totally love/hated how Ilsa rocked those last two pages!

Finally, finally, finally, Shadows is here! And, let me tell you, it is Ashes on overdrive! Just as amazing, way more awesome, and (if this is even possible) totally more disgusting and extreme. It rocks!
Shadows gets 5 Creepy Blings, too!

I am the happiest girl ever today to be able to present you with a post written by the AWESOME Ilsa J. Blick herself! WOOT!

Overview of characters Part 1 – For Books and Bling – Mandee
Need a quick refresher, of who’s who before you read SHADOWS? Well, you won’t get much in SHADOWS, but if you DO need to a memory-jog, read on.
If you haven’t read ASHES, shame on you. But don’t despair, you’ve got time.
In any event, BEWARE: spoilers ahead. Really, if you’ve not read ASHES, don’t go any further. Not only will you ruin the perfectly good time you might have had—because no synopsis can do justice to a novel—you will miss a lot of vital information that I can’t include.
Just saying.

Alex Adair: living with her aunt in Illinois after her mom, an ER doc, and dad, a cop, died in a helicopter crash three years ago. Suckier still, Alex carries a monster in her head: an inoperable brain tumor that’s stolen her sense of smell and many of her memories, especially those of her parents. After two years of failed chemotherapy, radiation, and experimental regimens, Alex has decided to call the shots for a change. As the novel opens, Alex has run off on what might well be a one-way backpacking trek through the Waucamaw Wilderness in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She intends to honor her parents’ last wishes and scatter their ashes from Mirror Point on Lake Superior. As it happens, she’s also got her dad’s service Glock, just in case she opts out of a return. After the Zap, Alex gets her sense of smell back in spades: a super-sense that also allows her to intuit emotions and, on one occasion, get a glimmer of what’s going on inside the mind of a wolf. Which is pretty funky. Much more to the point and like the dogs, she is able to detect the bloated roadkill stink of the Changed. Oh, and all of a sudden, every dog is her new best friend.

Ellie Cranford: sullen, uncooperative, a trifle whiny, a kid Alex has to keep herself from slapping silly. What can you say? The kid’s eight. Her dad’s KIA in Iraq; her mother split years back; and Ellie’s now being cared for by her grandfather, Jack, who might have the patience of a saint, but cut the kid a break. She hates camping, and it’s not like she hasn’t got good reason to be a little pissy anyway. Initially rescued by Alex and then Tom, Ellie is kidnapped by some very nasty adults who see her as a meal ticket.
Mina: Ellie’s dog, a Belgian Malinois, and formerly her dad’s MWD (military working dog). Mina also has the patience of a saint and packs a mean bite. The nasty adults take her, too.

Tom Eden: a young soldier and explosive ordinance specialist on leave from Afghanistan; a competent guy who complements Alex in a lot of ways. After Alex fends off a pack of wild dogs, Tom saves both Ellie and Alex by shooting his buddy, Jim, who’s gone through a major lifestyle change. Steady and calm, someone to whom Alex is instantly attracted, Tom also has a few secrets of his own. The biggest is just why he’s in the Waucamaw to begin with. Once they leave the (relative) safety of the Waucamaw—we’re talking wild dogs, booby traps, and kids who’ve suddenly decided that people make excellent Happy Meals—Tom is shot while trying to prevent the nasty adults from stealing Ellie.

Check out Ashes, if you haven’t. Get your hands on Shadows right away! And, of course, give the brillantly ewie Ilsa J. Bick some major creep out love!

A HUGE Books and Bling thank you filled with love for Ilsa. For both writing this post and creeping me out in a way that just makes me want MORE!
You totally rock!

Ilsa J. Bick rocked these books!

5 Blings! for both Ashes & Shadows!

5 Blings! for Ilsa J. Bick!

Ilsa Bick…OMG! Cannot wait for Shadows!

Shadows: The sequel to Ashes

Ashes totally (TOTALLY) freaked me out! I mean, I had to stop reading it at night. It was awesome and scary and creepy…I loved it!

So, Shadows is coming out soon (9/25/12). I am lucky and I get to read it early (Yay!). I’m starting it tonight. YAY! I hope that it terrifies me and pulls me in like Ashes did. I’m betting it will!

Didn’t read Ashes? GO READ IT RIGHT NOW! For reals, it totally rocked my face off!!

Have you read Ashes? I’d love to know what you thought!

Recommend A…#1-Book With a Three Word Title

Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit started a fun new Monday post called Recommend A… & I’ve decided that Books and Bling should play along!

This week it’s Recommend A Book With a Three Word Title

Since so many books are either one word titles or a close to a sentence, it was  hard for me to think of a three word title on my own. I had to go to my Goodreads lists  for this one!

Since 3 is the magic number today, I picked my 3 favorite Three Word Titles from 2012:

The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake:

An awesome picture book illustrated by Adam Rex. This is a freaking perfect book that some wackos want banned from libraries. I read it to my 8th graders and they LOVED it! We call it The Naked Book. Here’s the quick version: He’s dirty, he gets a bath, his dog doesn’t recognize him, hilarity ensues, there’s naked parts, it is uprouriously funny!

The Dirty Cowboy Gets 5 Blings!

One Second After by William Forstchen

This book is a total WOW! for me. It freaked me out because it could SO TOTALLY HAPPEN right now, for real life! EMP’s go off, we have no power, no modern comforts, no transportation, no communication. Panic ensues and we’re all turning on each other to survive. Personally, just the thought of no air conditioning, iced coffee, or internet freaks me out. This book about pushed me over the edge. Just WOW! If you haven’t read it, you need to! Huge thanks to Parajunkee for getting me to read this one!

5 Blings for One Second After!

Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

This awesome Zombie (yes, the get proper noun cred!) series is funny, poignant, and really freaking awesome! Brothers Tom and Benny Imura work to quiet Zoms in a crazy post apocalyptic world that isn’t ever what it seems.  Good guys, bad guys, confusion, and teen angst all come together in a series that is as exciting as it is undead! I’ve already ordered the third in the series Flesh & Bone, which is due out in September. If you are new to the whole Zombie Lit craze, this is a great place to start.  Pick up Rot & Ruin and you’ll be hooked!

Rot & Ruin + Dust & Decay = 5 Zombies Blings!

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Loving this creepy book by Ilsa J. Bick!
I keep yelling EWWWW! Gross! while I’m reading!

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In other news, I love exclamation points!! 2012…the year of !!

Rot & Ruin & Coffee & The Doctor!

I am reading Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. I love it! I just finished Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, so I guess you could say I’m on a bit of a zombie kick!
I love coming home after work, getting into my cozie clothes, making a cup of chai in my K-9 mug, & snuggling on the sofa with my book & my Yankee cat.

What are you reading?

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Even the CDC is ready for the Zombie Apocalypse!

Surviving the Zombies! from CDC, see link to article

I read this last night on a super cool iPad app called Zite. It builds a personal magazine for you based on what you like and what you don’t. My love for all things supernatural and strange was quickly picked up by this super cool and freaky big brother type app. If you’ve got an iPad, you need Zite!

Now, on to the Zombies…

I’m sure that the CDC posted this as a humorous way to get people prepared for any kind of disaster, but with all the zombie, post-apocalyptic, and dystopia I’ve been reading lately, it didn’t seem that way at first. And  with the supposed end of the world thing hitting on Saturday, May 21, I have to wonder how many people saw this and really freaked out. BTW, if you’d like to leave  me your cash, your car, or anything valuable before the end hits, just give me a call!

I thought this was both awesome and hysterical. So, I wanted you to read it, too!

http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp#

So gross; so awesome

“With a sigh she drops her hand and stands over the dead plague rats, bracing a foot against each one’s head so that she can tug at the bolts lodged in each skull. Her muscles strain until the arrows slide free with a loud shlurk of a sound.”
That is some crazy-gross-zombie-killing-action from The Dark and Hollow Places (p 229) by the amazing Carrie Ryan. So gross that I can hear & feel the awful shlurk noise and I totally make the supreme ICK face every time I think about it! Ugh!

Hope you are now grossed out too! xo

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Ooops, I did it again…

I have a small book problem. Ok, I lied. It is a HUGE book problem.  It has many facets, too.  So many, in fact, that they need a list:

  • I want to read just about everything!
  • I have serious vampire and zombie issues. I have to read them all!
  • I check out WAY too many books at the library. It is like how people must feel when they walk past a pet store. I just can’t leave them there, they need a good home!
  • I keep buying more books. I can’t help it. Sometimes the wait lists at the library are so long and I want it now (Veruca Salt, anyone!?).
  • I say I’m going to read this or than next, but then something just jumps out at me and I pick it up. Then that’s it…I’m reading it.
  • Being ADHD (really, like clinically, not like in the kidding kind of way) does not help this issue. I am currently listening to something in the car, have a book on my desk at work, have a book upstairs, and a book downstairs. I’m getting an iPad this weekend (YAY!) and I just know I’ll put a few books on that!

So, what’s the bottom line here? Why the rant?

I need to fess up:

I went to order one book today and got three (Oops, sorry Schmoopy! Didn’t mean to!). It is just so easy to click, add to cart, and check out! Darn internet!

I am trying to return some library books, but they look at me all cute and book-like, with their shiny covers and cute spines…I just can’t decide which ones to return without reading first. I know that I can check them out again, put them on a special list, whatever, but (go ahead and laugh) I don’t want them to feel bad. UGH!

Whew, I feel better now. I probably won’t change, but isn’t the first step in solving a problem admitting you have one?!

Did I mention that I love books? Well, I do!

Friday Reads

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My #fridayreads book is Carrie Ryan’s third book in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series: The Dark and Hollow Places.

I am loving it! The second book, The Dead-Tossed Waves, is my favorite so far. I swear I read somewhere that there was going to be a book about the Sisterhood, but I think I made that up. Even so, I’m loving The Dark and Hollow Places just as it is.  I was twelfth in line for the book at the library and I just couldn’t wait that long, so I bought it on Monday. I thought I’d finish it by now, but I had a crazy week. I’ve been looking forward to the weekend so that I could become totally immersed in the book.

Yay for a reading weekend! Oh wait, I have tons of other stuff to do, too. But, I will totally stake out some sacred time for reading!

Today I am thankful

Today I am thankful that my parents let me read banned books, old books, over my age limit books, books that I should have outgrown, books that nobody else let their kids read, silly books, awful and trashy and horrible books, really just any books.

I am so thankful for their reading! My mom reads anything she can her hands on (and I was proud to be able to put a Kindle in her hands this year). My dad read magazines and trade publications and loved audio books on long car trips (he usually got the gist of it, but he never really paid much attention to the details).

They were readers. Now I am a reader. I get to inspire others to read.

THAT TOTALLY ROCKS!

Today I am thankful for my awesome parents and their love of reading. That is a feeling that is better than all the Bling in the World!